Go to contents

Envelope With White Powder Mailed to U.S. Embassy

Posted December. 26, 2008 03:57,   


An envelope containing white powder has been delivered to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul Wednesday.

The powder was found in the embassy, following similar incidents in 18 other U.S. embassies abroad, including Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Prague and Tokyo starting Dec. 8.

Police, firefighters and the U.S. Embassy in Seoul said yesterday that an envelope containing 5-10 grams of white powder postmarked from Texas was discovered at the embassy’s mail examination room early Wednesday morning.

An embassy source said, “An envelope containing a suspicious substance was found Wednesday, and we reported it following standard procedure and are awaiting the results.”

Police and firefighters went to the embassy yesterday, and a chemical and biological response team collected the envelope.

The team tested for any harmful substances when they collected the envelope, but none were found.

The white powder was sent to the Research Institute of Public Health and Environment of the Seoul City Hall for testing. Lysine, a toxic chemical released when protein is dissolved, was initially thought to be found so the powder was handed over to the Korea Center for Disease Control.

The center used a diagnosis kit to test the substance, but no lysine was found. Further examination was done and the results will come out over the weekend.

In 2001, letters containing anthrax killed five people in the United States and spread mass panic. Since early this month, a series of letters with white powder have been delivered to U.S. embassies around the world.

The U.S. embassies in Tokyo and Prague received envelopes with harmful substances, so the one sent to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul is attracting keen interest.

Korean police said they are willing to investigate the case if the embassy requests so.